LONDON– Magdalen College Oxford is seeking a strategic partner to accelerate the development of The Oxford Science Park (TOSP), one of the UK’s leading parks for science and technology companies, and has appointed real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) to lead the process. With the global life science sector well-capitalized and making significant innovation advances, there is an increasing demand for high quality laboratory and office space.
The science park, 100% owned and managed by Magdalen College, is home to more than 100 leading companies active across a range of therapeutic areas and technologies including infectious diseases, cancer and artificial intelligence. Many tenants have been involved in the fight against COVID-19 through vaccines, sequencing, viral vectors and test reagents.
Magdalen College is offering a 40% equity share in TOSP to prospective partners in a joint venture which would include the existing buildings and remaining development plots. At present, TOSP has approximately 250,000 square feet (SF) of existing leased and managed buildings. Its nearly 15 acres of development land has capacity to add a further 420,000 SF to support the growth of existing occupiers and enable new companies to join the thriving campus.
“Beyond its unrivalled strategic location, one of the key features of The Oxford Science Park’s success has been the ability of occupiers to scale up on site – with many starting out in incubator buildings before expanding into larger, dedicated facilities. Our role is to support the growth ambitions of existing occupiers, providing flexibility with their space requirements, and others wanting to join this unique and collaborative community,” said Rory Maw, Bursar at Magdalen College Oxford and Director of The Oxford Science Park. “We believe a strategic partnership provides the most attractive mechanism to raise capital to accelerate the timetable for developing additional capacity to meet unprecedented demand and to further the discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship taking place at The Oxford Science Park.”
Magdalen College is being advised in its search for a strategic partner by a multidisciplinary team of capital markets and life science specialists from Cushman & Wakefield.
“The Oxford Science Park represents a once in a generation opportunity to invest in one of Europe’s leading science parks with a vibrant ecosystem of globally-recognized life science tenants,” said David Haynes, Head of UK Specialist Markets at Cushman & Wakefield.
“There is an enormous weight of global capital targeting the life sciences sector with demand for lab space in the UK growing significantly in recent years as a result of rapid investment by international capital into life science occupiers,” said Andrew Hawkins, International Partner, Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield.
Opened in 1991 to provide high-quality space for spin-outs and start-ups such as those emerging from the University of Oxford, TOSP houses state-of-the-art office and laboratory space across 62 acres of landscaped grounds.